How To Get Rid Of Fleas From Your Dog's Bed
Fleas are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. They’re a red-brown colour and measure around 2mm long – so they’re big enough to be visible to the naked eye. They love to crawl in a dog’s warm coat.
Did you know that adult fleas don’t live in your dog’s bed?
While adult fleas can live happily on your pooch, where it’s nice and warm, it’s their eggs that are the problem in your pet’s bed. Flea eggs can fall off your pet and into their bed, where they eventually hatch into larvae. If your dog has fleas, then you don’t just need to remove them from their fur – you need to make sure the eggs and larvae are gone from their bed, too.
How do I know if my dog has fleas?
If you see your dog scratching, licking, chewing or biting themselves more than usual, this could be a sign that they have fleas. Take a close look at their fur and part your pet’s hair with your fingers or a flea comb. If your dog has fleas, you might be able to see them – or you might see brown specks (or ‘flea dirt’) left behind on their fur or skin.
Fleas tend to gather on the back half of a dog’s body, as well as inside their back legs. You can also find them at the base of the tail, on the belly, and the groin. Basically, anywhere that’s warm and protected with an easy access to their food (your pet’s blood), fleas are drawn to.
How do you check the bed for flea larvae?
It’s quite simple to check your dog’s bed for evidence of fleas. Even though flea eggs and larvae are small, you can still see them with the naked eye – they’re white with specks of blacks. Basically, it will look like your dog’s bed has been sprinkled with salt and pepper.
How do you remove flea larvae from dog bedding?
1. Vacuum the dog bed.
2. Wash the bed at 50° C or above.
Before you remove the cover and clean it, be sure to vacuum the cover thoroughly. That way, you can remove as many flea eggs and larvae as possible before you wash it. It also means you won’t end up dislodging those nasty things onto your carpet.
Vacuuming your dog’s bed is a great place to start, but that alone won’t remove everything. If you have a dog bed made from a washable material, then it’s time to fire up the washing machine. Washable covers make life so much easier – because it means you can launder the bedding on a regular basis, which minimises the risk of fleas, and keeps that ‘doggy pong’ down to tolerable levels! Put it in the washing machine on the hottest setting that you can without damaging the material. This will depend on which dog bed you have, so check the label before you put it in the washing machine.
If it isn’t possible to machine wash your dog’s bedding, steam cleaning is a sensible alternative. Just be sure to check that it won’t damage the material.
After washing, if it can go in the tumble dryer, again, pop the bedding in on the hottest setting it can handle. If it can’t be tumbled, simply dry the bedding outside in the sunshine.
What else do I need to do?
As well as ridding your dog’s bed of flea larvae and eggs, you also need to remove fleas from your dog. Various different treatments are available, such as sprays and powders, and your vet can recommend the right option for your pet.
Make sure you remove them from elsewhere in your house too. For example, don’t forget to thoroughly clean any upholstery or fabric your dog has come into contact with, as well as any plush dog toys you may have.
If you have any warm, dark places in your home, be sure to give them a good vacuum as well. In the worst cases, you may need to hire an exterminator to treat your home.